State University announced a $1 million irrevocable planned gift established by
alumna Rita E. Ranucci ’64 to create The Ranucci Family Legacy at a ceremony
dedicating The Ranucci Family Rehearsal Hall on May 22, 2014. In addition to
the naming of the choral rehearsal hall, located in Chapin Hall, the University has
recognized the planned gift by establishing an endowed fund within the
Montclair State University Foundation to support priorities of the president.
roots of the Ranucci family legacy at Montclair State reach back to 1933, when Rita
Ranucci’s late parents, Ernest “Ernie” Ranucci and Barbara “Barby” Helmer
Ranucci, graduated from the institution. A Fulbright scholar, he earned both
undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mathematics, while she received a BA in
Science. The couple trained teachers in those fields in Latin America and were
Peace Corps trainers in the Marshall Islands.
Ranucci earned a BA in Music from Montclair State in 1964. A retired orchestra
director for Somerville Public Schools in Somerville, Massachusetts, she has
also taught strings and instrumental music in New Jersey, Connecticut and The
Netherlands. Ranucci founded two summer music programs: The Hague Summer Music
Center and the Somerville String Camp, a three-week program open to any age and
income group. A cellist, she has performed with the New Jersey Symphony
Orchestra and the Dutch Baroque Ensemble in The Netherlands.
most grateful to Rita Ranucci for establishing the Ranucci Family Legacy at her
and her parents’ alma mater,” said Montclair State University President Susan
A. Cole. “This generous leadership gift will make it possible for deserving
students to realize their talents and ambitions.”
and her husband, Peter Lieberman, their children, Eben Ranucci Lieberman and
Corrine Ochsner Lieberman, other members of the Ranucci family, as well as a
number of her 1964 classmates and friends were present at the official dedication of
the Ranucci Family Rehearsal Hall.
The ceremony included remarks and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in the Chapin Hall lobby by Dr. Cole. In the Leshowitz Recital Hall, the Ranuccis and their guests appreciated a surprise performance of Arensky’s “Piano Trio No. 1" by the Cali Trio, comprised of students graduating this year. Following was a celebratory lunch in the newly named rehearsal hall.